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Department of Architecture



I have a bachelor degree in aerospace engineering specialising the thermodynamics of aerospace propulsion.  I then completed a master of science in astronomy and physics in which I carried out computational research modelling the spectral energy distributions of rapidly rotating stars.  I then made the shift to building physics, and spent 4 years working as a thermal modelling specialist and sustainability engineer in London before returning to full time studies at the University of Cambridge.

I am currently Co-President of the GreenBRIDGE Society, and sit on the Editorial Committee for the Scroope 23 Cambridge Architectural Journal.

Churchill College

Minna Sunikka-Blank


My research explores market transformation programmes for domestic retrofits. There is increasing focus on policies that incentivise a comprehensive range of retrofit solutions that form part of a lasting market transformation strategy. However, this process is multifaceted and poorly understood. 

My PhD work applies the underutilised tool of policy theory evaluations to better understand the ingredients and indicators for lasting market transformation.  These themes are explored using case studies from the on-going Better Buildings Neighborhood Program in the United States, where innovative new approaches are being used to conquer the decades old challenge of barriers to domestic energy efficiency.

The aim of this work is to identify under-explored elements of a retrofit program that may be crucial to its long term impacts on the market, as well as finding indicators that can help inform ex-ante program evaluations.


Key publications: 

Journal Publications

2014 [In Press] – Gillich, A. The Simmering Crisis of Domestic Energy Use: Why Policies Fail to Transform Retrofit Markets. Scroope 23, Architectural Journal, University of Cambridge.

2013 - Gillich, A. Grants versus financing for domestic retrofits: a case study from Efficiency Maine.  Sustainability 2013, Vol 5., Issue 6, 2827-2839.

2008 - Gillich, A., Deupree, R. G., Lovekin, C. C., Short, C. I., Toque, N., Determination of Effective Temperatures and Luminosities for Rotating Stars, 2008, ApJ, 683, 441-448.


Peer Reviewed Conference Papers

2013 - Gillich, A., Sunikka-Blank, M. Barriers to domestic energy efficiency: an evaluation of retrofit policies and market transformation strategies. European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy Summer Study, June 5, 2013, Hyeres, France.

2013 - Gillich, A. Community based social marketing and energy efficiency: an evaluation of engagement strategies and domestic retrofit policies. Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting Conference, Sept 12, 2013. Coimbra, Portugal.

2013 - Gillich, A., Sunikka-Blank, M. Behavioural nudges towards domestic energy efficiency: occupant comfort and the limits for savings from user feedback programs. CISBAT, Sept 5, 2013. Lausanne, Switzerland.


Conference Posters

2013 - Gillich, A, Sunikka-Blank, M. How to Transform Retrofit Markets: the potential for policy theory evaluations to inform retrofit program design. Churchill College Conference on Everything, May 2012

2012 - Gillich, A, Sunikka-Blank, M. Behaviour and Energy Use in Student Accommodation – A case study on the impacts of feedback at Churchill College. Churchill College Conference on Everything, June 2013.


Unpublished Work

2007 – Gillich, A. Effects of Rotation on Stellar Spectra. Masters Thesis - Institute for Computational Astrophysics, St. Mary’s University.

2005 -  Gillich, A. On the Use of Hybrid Motors in Small Satellite Launch Vehicles. 4th year aerospace engineering spacecraft design project, Carleton University.

3rd Year PhD Candidate
 Aaron  Gillich
Not available for consultancy